Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I have goat milk!

Photo Courtesy of Just chaos

I finally bought a goat share now that I know I really like making cheese. Plus, I contracted to buy a doe and companion wether (Nubians) when as I get fencing up, which will be at least spring with the way our economy is going.

So for now I'm learning to make goat cheese. Learning goat care, feeding and milking will come later.

I expect many cheese failures along the way, pretty much as I've had with cow's milk, although I AM getting better at making cheese in general. Along the way I've learned how fat percentages in the milk affect the cheese, how important controlled heating temps are, and what rennet works best. I've learned there is a whole lot more to know about all the various cultures and adjuncts and how to use them. I've also learned that many recipes are vague and inconsistent with their instructions for the 'make'.
No, the cheese was not made with Bragg's ACV!

My first firm goat cheese attempts are some Caerphilly wheels, because it's a recipe I've made several times successfully once I got the rennet right. 

Milky Whey

First off the bat, a couple of things are different. One is the milky whey after draining the curds (rather than clear), which may be something I'm doing wrong... but I don't know a goat cheese-maker to ask right now. The ones I know only make soft cheese spreads and feta. The weight of the wheels are comparable to cow milk so I don't think I'm failing to convert enough milk solids to curd.

Another difference is how quickly the milk becomes curds after adding rennet. I'll need to work on slowing it down a bit, to improve texture and taste. 

Here's the first goat Caerphilly above on the left (9 quarts/2.25 lbs.) and the 2nd one two days later (1 gallon/1 lb.) on the right. The second make didn't get pressed very well overnight; apparently the weights slipped sideways after I went to bed. I'm trying several combos of ways to salt (add salt, brine, or some of both) as well as different mesophilic culture combinations so there will be several small batches.

One cheese I really want to make (with both with cow and goat milk but not mixed together!) is a gorgonzola dolce. It's a softer, sweeter blue than a Stilton but I need to order the right penicillin roqueforti strain to culture it.

1 comment:

  1. Yay!!!!!! Can't wait to hear how the cheeses turn out. I've only made soft cheese w/goat milk so I haven't tried Caerphilly or Queso Fresco or anything else w/Goat. I keep thinking I like the soft goat cheese every once in awhile but not sure I'd like goat cheese all the time. I guess I should at least try a Caerphilly to see if I like the flavor.

    Around here I pay $6/gal. for goat milk so I don't want to do too much experimenting....

    Can't wait to see how goat-keeping goes for you :)


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